Cricket World Cup 2011

Bangladesh behind Windies

2011-03-16 09:32
Bangladesh's fans will have plenty to cheer if the Windies win. (AFP)

Dhaka - Darren Sammy's West Indies will be cheered by millions of Bangladeshi fans when they take on England in the World Cup in Chennai on Thursday.

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The support does not emanate from any sense of remorse for the unruly scenes in Dhaka on March 4, when the West Indies team bus was stoned after Sammy's men demolished the hosts by nine wickets.

The reason is simple enough: if the West Indies defeat England, Bangladesh will make the quarter-finals of the showpiece event they are co-hosting for the first time with India and Sri Lanka.

But if England win, Bangladesh face the daunting prospect of beating mighty South Africa in their last league match at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka on Saturday to qualify.

The Proteas, with eight points from five matches, are the only team to have qualified for the quarter-finals from the tough group B.

Four teams - India (seven points from five games), the West Indies (six from four), Bangladesh (six from five) and England (five from five) are in the race for the remaining three berths from the group.

"We will all support the West Indies, England must lose," said Dhaka hotel employee Enamur Rahman, echoing similar sentiments from cricket-crazy fans across Bangladesh.

National coach Jamie Siddons was also hoping for a West Indies win, which will give his team a realistic chance of reaching the knockout phase.

"If England win, it will be very difficult for us to qualify," Siddons said earlier this week.

"Beating South Africa, even at home, will be a difficult task. I am not going to guarantee that we will win against them. Also our run-rate is very poor."

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan, speaking after the six-wicket win over the Netherlands in Chittagong on Monday, had admitted his team will keep an eye on the Chennai match.

"Of course we will watch that match, but as far as we are concerned, it will change nothing," Shakib said.

"Our future should remain in our hands. The bottom line is that we have to beat South Africa."

Spin spearhead Abdur Razzak also did not want to bank on England losing.

"Everyone in the team is looking forward to playing against South Africa, because nobody is looking at equations," Razzak said on Wednesday. "We want to win and go into the quarter-finals."

Bangladesh, the only team in the tournament playing all their group matches at home, have beaten England, Ireland and the Dutch in previous games.

But the Tigers lost the opener against India and crashed to their lowest one-day total of 58 against the West Indies.


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